Often emptiness has a negative association. We don’t want to feel empty. Today I was reminded that it is a practice of power.
I was watching YouTube clips of Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, an MMA fighter who I used to root for back when I was more involved with martial arts. I loved his elusive style, his footwork, and his strong but humble air, his way of drawing the opponent out, utilizing as little energy as he could and letting them use theirs.
Several times he talked about meditation being a big part of his practice, finding the state of emptiness where there was nothing but that moment around you.
Lately I’ve been practicing twenty minutes of sitting outside and counting my breaths, looking at the grass in front of me, allowing all the thoughts to bubble up and out—not hanging onto any thought in particular, and if I find myself doing it, just letting it go without judgment. If it’s a good idea or thought I trust it’ll come back, and the ones that are meant to do.
Even though the mind keeps racing sometimes, I begin to find that empty place by thinking of my thoughts differently—like a river I’m standing in front of, just listening to the water, watching it rush by. Peace. The water is just doing its thing. I love that feeling.
It’s hard to embrace that we are not our thoughts when the thoughts seem to be so much about us. But when I think of them like water, powerful, fluid, there for me when I want them but not who I am, then I can let them go and I feel clear, strong and empty.
With so much I want to achieve and experience in the coming months, I was happy to see the emptiness connected with a fighter, with power in a visible way.
Sometimes I think of the emptiness and meditation like diet or rest—but it is so much more. It’s something I can bring to whatever I’m doing, and when I do, I feel more alive, more sensual, more connected.
Everything is better, the food, the sex, the living, my work, when I remember how to be empty.